Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) are conditions that affect the ovaries and can cause hormonal imbalances in women. PCOD is an older term that was used to describe the condition, while PCOS is the more commonly used term today. Both terms refer to the same condition.

Symptoms of PCOD / PCOS

The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman to woman but may include:

1. Irregular periods: Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, or they may stop having periods altogether.

2. Excess androgen production: Androgens are male hormones that are also present in women in smaller amounts. Women with PCOS may have higher-than-normal levels of androgens, which can cause symptoms like acne, unwanted hair growth, and male-pattern baldness.

3. Polycystic ovaries: This refers to the appearance of the ovaries on an ultrasound scan. Women with PCOS may have many small cysts on their ovaries.

4. Insulin resistance: Women with PCOS may have difficulty using insulin effectively, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

5. Weight gain: Many women with PCOS struggle with weight gain and have difficulty losing weight

Causes of PCOD / PCOS

The exact cause of PCOS is not known, but it is thought to be related to hormonal imbalances. Insulin resistance and high levels of androgens are believed to play a role in the development of PCOS. Other factors that may contribute to the development of PCOS include genetics and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise habits. Diagnosis

There is no specific test for PCOS, and diagnosis is usually made based on symptoms, medical history, and physical examination. Tests that may be used to diagnose PCOS include:

Blood tests

These may be used to measure hormone levels, including androgens, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).


This may be used to look for polycystic ovaries.

Glucose tolerance test

This may be used to check for insulin resistance and prediabetes.

Risk factors

Family history: Women who have a family history of PCOS are more likely to develop the condition themselves.

Obesity: Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop PCOS. This may be because excess weight can cause insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.

Age: PCOS most commonly develops in women in their 20s and 30s, but it can occur at any age.

Insulin resistance: Women who have insulin resistance are more likely to develop PCOS.

Inflammation: Inflammation in the body may be a contributing factor to the development of PCOS.

Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of developing PCOS.


Treatment for PCOS depends on the individual woman's symptoms and goals. Some treatment options may include:

Lifestyle changes: These may include changes to diet and exercise habits to promote weight loss and improve insulin resistance.

Medications: Birth control pills may be used to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce androgen levels. Metformin may be used to improve insulin resistance. Anti-androgen medications may be used to reduce excess hair growth and acne.

Fertility treatments: Women with PCOS who are trying to conceive may benefit from fertility treatments like ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization (IVF), or surgery.

In summary, PCOS is a condition that affects the ovaries and can cause hormonal imbalances in women. Diagnosis is made based on symptoms, medical history, and physical examination. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes, medications, or fertility treatments, depending on the individual woman's symptoms and goals.